NIHAO III

The constant disc gas mass conspiracy

G. S. Stinson, A. A. Dutton, L. Wang, Andrea Maccio, J. Herpich, J. D. Bradford, T. R. Quinn, J. Wadsley, B. Keller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We show that the cool gas masses of galactic discs reach a steady state that lasts many Gyr after their last major merger in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. The mass of disc gas, Mgas, depends mostly upon a galaxy virial mass and halo's spin, and less upon stellar feedback. Haloes with low spin have high star formation efficiency and lower disc gas mass. Similarly, lower stellar feedback leads to more star formation so the gas mass ends up being nearly the same regardless of stellar feedback strength. Rather than regulating cool gas mass, stellar feedback regulates the mass of stars that forms. Even considering spin, the Mgas relation with halo mass, M200 only shows a factor of 3 scatter. The simulated Mgas-M200 relation shows a break at M200 = 2 × 1011M⊙ that corresponds to an observed break in the Mgas-M* relation. The galaxies that maintain constant disc masses share a common halo gas density profile shape in all the simulated galaxies. In their outer regions, the profiles are isothermal. Where the profile rises above n = 10-3 cm-3, the gas readily cools and the profile steepens. Inside the disc, rotation supports gas with a flatter density profile. Energy injection from stellar feedback provides pressure support to the halo gas to prevent runaway cooling flows. The constant gas mass makes simpler models for galaxy formation possible, either using a 'bathtub' model for star formation rates or when modelling chemical evolution.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1105-1116
    Number of pages12
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Volume454
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

    Fingerprint

    gases
    gas
    halos
    profiles
    galaxies
    star formation
    chemical evolution
    galactic evolution
    gas density
    star formation rate
    stellar mass
    merger
    hydrodynamics
    injection
    stars
    cooling
    modeling
    simulation
    energy

    Keywords

    • Galaxies: formation
    • Galaxies: ISM
    • Hydrodynamics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

    Cite this

    Stinson, G. S., Dutton, A. A., Wang, L., Maccio, A., Herpich, J., Bradford, J. D., ... Keller, B. (2015). NIHAO III: The constant disc gas mass conspiracy. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 454(1), 1105-1116. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv1985

    NIHAO III : The constant disc gas mass conspiracy. / Stinson, G. S.; Dutton, A. A.; Wang, L.; Maccio, Andrea; Herpich, J.; Bradford, J. D.; Quinn, T. R.; Wadsley, J.; Keller, B.

    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 454, No. 1, 01.01.2015, p. 1105-1116.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Stinson, GS, Dutton, AA, Wang, L, Maccio, A, Herpich, J, Bradford, JD, Quinn, TR, Wadsley, J & Keller, B 2015, 'NIHAO III: The constant disc gas mass conspiracy', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 454, no. 1, pp. 1105-1116. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv1985
    Stinson GS, Dutton AA, Wang L, Maccio A, Herpich J, Bradford JD et al. NIHAO III: The constant disc gas mass conspiracy. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2015 Jan 1;454(1):1105-1116. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv1985
    Stinson, G. S. ; Dutton, A. A. ; Wang, L. ; Maccio, Andrea ; Herpich, J. ; Bradford, J. D. ; Quinn, T. R. ; Wadsley, J. ; Keller, B. / NIHAO III : The constant disc gas mass conspiracy. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2015 ; Vol. 454, No. 1. pp. 1105-1116.
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